August 3, 2020
The Allen County Election Board is temporarily moving their offices and operations to the Memorial Coliseum to better serve voters during the 2020 Presidential election. According to Beth Dlug, director of elections, the move is necessary to provide safe and effective voting opportunities for Allen County voters during the pandemic.
“We realized during the primary election that we would not have the space to provide proper social distancing protocols for our workers and voters in the general election if we stayed in our current location,” said Dlug. “We are extremely fortunate to have a great partner in the Coliseum to provide us with the space we need to conduct all of our operations, including early voting, pollworker training and election results tabulation.”
The current Election Board office at 1 East Main, Suite 172 will be closed on Monday, August 17 for the move. The Election Board will post instructions on its website on how to do business with the office on that day. Instructions will also be posted at the Rousseau Centre. The office will reopen on Tuesday, August 18, at its new location at the Coliseum. School Board candidates are encouraged to call the Election Board office for specific filing instructions after August 14. The staff will move back to their space in the Rousseau Centre on November 16.
The Election Board will be located in Expo IV in the Coliseum, which is located at 4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne. All people doing business with the Election Board should enter the Coliseum parking lot at entrance 1 (Coliseum Blvd.) or entrance 2 (Parnell Avenue), park in the main lot and enter the building at the Arena & Expo Center entrance. Free parking will be available for people who have business with the Election Board.
April 21, 2020
The Allen County Election Board met to discuss a plan for voting in response to IEC Order 2020-40. In consultation with the Allen County Health Commissioner, the Board made the following decisions to protect the health and safety of voters and workers.
- Voters will be encouraged to VOTE BY MAIL for the 2020 Primary election.
- The Election Day voting locations will be reduced to 25 locations. The locations were chosed because of large voting rooms that can accomodate social distancing guidelines and have ample parking.
- Early voting will be allowed at one location prior to Election Day, which will be designated as the Clerk's Office voting area.
- Early voting will be Tuesday through Friday, May 26 through May 29 during normal Clerk hours, 7 hours on Saturday, May 30 and through Noon on Monday, June 1, 2020.
- The Rousseau Centre early voting will be moved to the Grand Wayne Center
April 17, 2020
The Indiana Election Commission issued IEC Order 2020-40 with the following provisions on April 17:
- Poll workers, Absentee Board members and Watchers are not required to live in the county they are serving, so long as they are registered to vote in Indiana
- ALL public buildings (fire stations, school buildings, etc.) must be made available for use as a polling place for the June 2nd Primary, if the county requests it
- The Secretary of State and the Indiana Election Division shall provide counties with training on mail handling and in-person voting procedures. Any deviations from the provided guideline must be approved by the county’s health officer.
- Limited early voting to take place from May 26 (the Tuesday after Memorial Day) to June 1.
- Primary Election held on June 2 shall be conducted in strict compliance with Indiana Election law, except as provided in a legally binding order
- County election boards by unanimous vote may adopt a resolution to establish more than one location for counting absentee ballots based on the number of active voters in the county (No more than one location per 50,000 active voters)
- County election boards by a unanimous vote may relocate a precinct polling location or a vote center location after giving best possible notice to the public and filing a copy of the notice with the Indiana Election Division
- The county election board may notify a voter that the voter’s absentee ballot application or absentee ballot security envelope is defective to allow the voter to cure the issue under current Indiana law. The Indiana Election Commission advises the uniform and non-discriminatory application of such a policy.
- All absentee ballot applications submitted after December 2nd 2019 and not later than May 21st 2020 (12 days before the June 2nd Primary) should be accepted whether any excuse is given, provided they are otherwise compliant with Indiana law (This a clarification of the March 25th IEC order).
March 30, 2020
The Indiana Election Commission issued IEC Order 2020-37 with the following provisions on March 25, 2020:
- The date of the Primary Election is postponed to June 2, 2020
- Voters are not required to mark a reason on the application for a mailed absentee ballot for the June 2, 2020 election
- In-person voting is still required to be held for the 28 day period before the election
- Allows for employees of residential or in-patient healthcare facilities to serve as traveling board members to assist voters in their care
- Extends the period of time for the election board to canvass results to 10 days after the election
March 25, 2020
The Allen County Election Board will be temporarily closed to the public and operating with only essential personnel. We will continue to take telephone calls, emails, faxes and process absentee ballot applications and ballots. We continue to encourage absentee by mail voting for the June 2 primary. If you do not qualify for one of the reasons listed on the absentee by mail application, please check back with us after today's meeting of the Indiana Election Commission for further instructions.
March 20, 2020
Governor Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The executive order is posted at in.gov/gov/2384.htm. The following recommendations will be made to the Indiana Election Commission for their consideration at a meeting on Wednesday, March 25th, at 10:00 AM:
- Suspend absentee by mail rules to allow all Hoosiers the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election
- Allow election officials to mail ballots from now through 12 days before the new primary election date
- Confirm ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be valid
- Enable medical professionals to be eligible members of travelllng boards to vote nursing home and hospital patients
- Give family members the ability to deliver absentee ballots. Currently, only a member of the voter's household may take possession of their ballot.
The Allen County Election Board will begin immediate preparations for the date change.
March 18, 2020
The Rousseau Centre has been closed to the public for most county offices beginning March 18th until April 1, 2020. The Election Board staff will continue to respond to telephone calls, emails and faxes. Many of the transactions with our office can be handled remotely during this two week period and do not require a trip to our office. Please call ahead at 260-449-7329 if you want to visit our office in person during this time. The first round of absentee ballots will be mailed out on Friday, March 20.
March 15, 2020
The Allen County Election Board looks forward to the first batch of 2020 Presidential Primary ballots being sent out March 20, 2020. As we prepare for this election, we are also monitoring the COVID-19 virus and making plans to prevent the spread of the virus during voting in this important election.
Act early. The United States Post Office advises that first class mail turnaround is at least three to five days and the mailed absentee application deadline is April 23rd. After we receive the application, we will mail the official ballot. The ballot must be voted and returned to the Election Board by noon on Election Day, May 5, either by mail, or dropped off at our office by the voter or a member of the voter’s household.
The pandemic has proven to be a unique and unprecedented challenge for election officials across the state. The Election Board will continue to work with the Allen County Board of Health, Secretary of State’s office, and our vendor and polling location partners as we make preparations for early voting beginning April 7, satellite voting on April 27 and on Election Day May 5. As events unfold, we will modify and initiate contingency plans designed to mitigate risks to voters and poll workers while ensuring we provide fair and accurate election services.